President & CEO - Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance
Matthew Felan is the president & CEO of the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance. Prior to joining the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance, Felan served as the director of the McLaren Bay Medical Foundation from 2013-2014 and as the chief development officer at Special Olympics Michigan from 2011-2012. Matt worked as a political fundraiser for over a decade, spending extensive time in Washington, D.C. and Richmond, VA. Felan was the national deputy finance director for Senator Hillary Clinton (2006-2008) and finance director/PAC director for Virginia Governor Tim Kaine (2004-2009). Matt is a native of the Great Lakes Bay Region. He has a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from James Madison College at Michigan State University. Matt is married to his wife Janelle who works in Global Human Resources at Dow. Matt and Janelle have two children, Noah and Alexandra. Felan serves on the boards of the Great Lakes Bay Economic Club, and the Great Lakes Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Beth Sorenson Prince
Chief Executive Officer - MiHIA
Calling the Great Lakes Bay Region her lifelong home, Beth has 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector both in direct service and administration. Beth has proven success in program development and implementation, capacity building, development of data-based outcomes, building and training effective boards, and national accreditation preparation. Through a dedication to mission driven organizations, Beth has helped several nonprofits grow and build capacity through training, program development, and leadership and governance support.
Beth holds two bachelor’s degrees in Child Development (Substance Abuse Education, Prevention and Intervention) and Family Studies (School Health Science) and a Master of Science in Administration of Health Services from Central Michigan University. Previously, Beth served as the CEO of Family and Children’s Services of Mid-Michigan and director of the Community Advancement Network and the director of Impact and Capacity Building at United Way of Midland County.
Beth lives in Mt. Pleasant with her husband Evan and two daughters Abigail and Mia. She enjoys being with her family, reading, traveling, drinking tea and laughing.
Dr. Matthew Samocki
Matt was formerly an administrator with the Central Michigan Science, Mathematics, Technology Center (SMTC) at Central Michigan University. Prior to that, he served as an assistant principal at H.H. Dow High School and was a teacher at Freeland High School. Matt earned a bachelor’s degree with a major in interdisciplinary social sciences and a minor in psychology, plus a master’s degree in curriculum and teaching from Michigan State University. He earned his doctoral degree in educational leadership from Central Michigan University.
With a strong commitment to improve health and sustain economic growth, he embraces highly effective and coordinated stakeholder collaboration to positively impact health, healthcare and economic success in the Great Lakes Bay Region.
Matt and his wife, Juliet, reside in Midland with their two daughters.
Cathy Baase, M.D., FAAFP, FACOEM
Dr. Baase serves as the Board Chairperson of the Michigan Health Improvement Alliance (MiHIA), a multi-stakeholder collaborative dedicated to improving the health of people in 14 counties of central Michigan. In a related role, she is the senior fellow serving MiHIA and the transformational initiative THRIVE (Transforming Health Regionally in a Vibrant Economy). She is a member of the Roundtable on Population Health Improvement of the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
and served as the initial chair of the Business Collaborative. Additionally, she is a member of the National Alliance to impact Social Determinants of Health, NASDOH and serves as a senior advisor to HealthBegins focused on upstream efforts in healthcare. Dr. Baase is a member of the Advisory Council for the RWJF Culture of Health for Business Project with the Global Reporting Index, GRI. She is also on the Susan and Henry Samueli College of Health Sciences Advisory Board at UC Irvine.
Dr. Baase retired from her role as chief health officer and global director of Health Services for The Dow Chemical Company, a position she held for 20 years of her 32 years with Dow. Under her leadership, their health programs were extensively recognized for their innovation and achievement around the world. Dr. Baase is a distinguished communicator on the topics of health strategy,
prevention, occupational health and public health. She has co-authored more than 30 publications and received many awards for leadership in the health field. Throughout her career, Dr. Baase has been involved across the landscape of health including: public health, healthcare, health policy, health promotion and occupational health.
She is a fellow in the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine and a fellow in the American Academy of Family Physicians. Dr. Baase is married with four children and eight grandchildren.
Kristen McDonald Rivet
Kristen McDonald Rivet serves as Vice President of Michigan Future, Inc and a Strategic Advisor to MiHIA/THRIVE. She is the former CEO/President of Greater Midland Inc, a network of centers connecting all residents in Midland County through wellness & recreation, education, youth development and basic needs. Prior to her work in Midland, McDonald served as the Vice President of Program and Policy for The Skillman Foundation in Detroit. In this role, she directed strategy for all of the Foundation’s program work in citywide education reform, place-based neighborhood revitalization, youth development systems building and public policy agendas addressing institutional inequity issues.
Previously, McDonald has served in multiple leadership roles developing public policies and systems to improve the lives of children and families including work in the Michigan Departments of Education and Human Services. She has worked extensively in early childhood education policy and was one of the chief architects of the Early Childhood Investment Corporation (ECIC) and Great Start, Michigan’s system of education and care for children from birth to kindergarten. McDonald was appointed to the Executive Committee of the ECIC by Governor Rick Snyder in July 2017 and currently serves as the Board Chair. In 2016, she was named an Annie E. Casey Children and Families Fellow, joining a prestigious network of leaders across the country with the vision, drive and ability to make changes that benefit large numbers of children and families.
McDonald and her husband are the proud parents and stepparents of six beautiful children and reside in Bay City, MI.
Dr. Sasha Savage
Chief Health Officer
Sasha Savage, M.D. is the chief health officer for THRIVE. Dr. Savage’s role is focused on the health and well-being aspects of the THRIVE Portfolio, including key messages, achieving intended outcomes and informing the actions and progress during the multi-phased implementation.
Dr. Savage’s compassion for people is a result of his childhood. A native of Michigan, Dr. Savage was raised in Kalamazoo. Serving the public and helping others was deeply ingrained in his upbringing. His father was a teacher of the deaf and blind and actively demonstrated the compassion and hard work involved in helping others. His parents invested in a more economically challenged area and worked as a family to repair homes in order to make them available to rent. For Dr. Savage, working on properties in the summers and being aware of the financial struggles of tenants brought him, from a young age, a deep understanding of the issues facing families.
Currently, Dr. Savage works at MidMichigan Medical Center, where he serves as the medical director of the Family Practice Center. He is involved in leadership and ethics at his employer. He provides peer leadership support as a Physician Dyad, and is active in the system redesign incorporating the Quadruple Aim with a specific focus on provider wellness. More recent contributions have included pioneering leadership concerning the issue of provider burnout, system wellness reform, and enhancing provider resiliency.
Prior to his current position, he served as chief of staff within the hospital and was instrumental in graduate medical education in a variety of roles: he was the chairperson of the Department of Family Medicine, and from 2013-2018 served as the inaugural chair of the Ethics Committee. In 2002, he joined the faculty in Midland and was honored by the residents with the Teacher of the Year Award in 2007. Rounding out his recognition within the MidMichigan Health System, he was the first physician ever to receive the Bernard E. Lorimer Award for outstanding lifetime achievement. Early in his career, Dr. Savage served as the primary architect of the Patient-Centered Medical Home, the model of care that is now the standard across the MidMichigan Health System.
He completed his medical doctorate training with High Honors from Wayne State University in 1999 and continued his training with a postdoctoral fellowship in faculty development from the University of Michigan in 2002. Dr. Savage’s higher education began at Brigham Young University where he graduated Summa Cum Laude in 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in biology.
Dr. Savage and his wife Heather have lived in the Great Lakes Bay region since 1999 and are the proud parents to eight children. A man of deep faith, Dr. Savage is a former Bishop of the Midland Second Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is involved in many other community organizations.
Dr. Pamela Pugh
Funding and Financing Strategist
Pamela Pugh is a consultant with Regeneration LLC, a business which serves as a catalyst for economically sustainable and healthy urban communities. She previously served as Chief Public Health Advisor for the City of Flint, MI, implementing a “Health in All Policy” approach to decision-making during the Flint Water Crisis.
Pugh served for 14 years within local public health and has been appointed to numerous boards and policy development workgroups aimed at improving quality of life for children and families. She serves as Michigan State Conference NAACP Health and Education Chairs.
Pugh is a two-time recipient of the NAACP Dr. Montague Cobb national Award for special achievement in social justice, health justice, and research. Dr. Pugh serves as Vice President of the Michigan State Board of Education. She received a Doctor of Public Health and Master of Science from University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Florida A&M University.
Communications Leader - MiHIA, GLBRA and THRIVE
Courtney Soule is the communications leader for the Michigan Health Improvement Alliance (MiHIA), the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance (GLBRA) and their co-led initiative THRIVE (Transforming Health Regionally in a Vibrant Economy).
Prior to joining MiHIA, the Alliance and THRIVE, Courtney served as the managing editor of Catalyst Midland and development manager of Issue Media Group, Catalyst’s parent company. She also brings over 15 years of experience working in public affairs, government affairs and public policy and corporate strategic development for Dow. She is a graduate of Northwood University, Summa Cum Laude and holds a B.B.A. in Marketing and Business Management.
Courtney is a passionate community supporter, volunteer and advocate. A lifelong resident of the Great Lakes Bay Region, she lives in Midland with her two dogs and recently started a public effort sharing her journey managing multiple sclerosis (MS) through diet and lifestyle.
THRIVE Executive Administration and Operations Leader
Dallas Rau is the executive administration and operations leader for the THRIVE Initiative, a co-led initiative between the Michigan Health Improvement Alliance (MiHIA) and the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance to bring high-value impact & benefit to our community citizens, and other regional organizations and institutions.
In this role, Dallas provides high-quality administrative oversight to the initiative’s leadership team and helps to build capacity that aides in the fulfillment of the THRIVE mission for the THRIVE Portfolio implementation including all internal processes, and integration with external partners, stakeholders, staff and contractors.
Before joining MiHIA, Dallas worked for SecureCom, a local security integration company, for just over 16 years. Dallas was in charge of the day-to-day business operations as well as project and employee management.
Dallas is a native to the Great Lakes Bay Region and has been married to her husband for just over 13 years. She and Jeremy have one child, a son, named Haven. An alumni of Northwood University in Midland, Dallas graduated Summa Cum Laude with her B.B.A. in Business Management. Community involvement has always been very important to Dallas, who is a member of the Midland Noon Rotary Club where she also serves on the board. Additionally, she volunteers with many other local organizations such as Salvation Army, Midland Public Schools, the Midland Lacrosse Club, and The Bridge, to name a few.
In her spare time, Dallas enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, watching her son participate in sports, riding ATV’s and snowmobiles, and playing volleyball.